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Author Yasmina Khadra to run for Algerian president

Published: Updated:

Author Yasmina Khadra said on Saturday that he plans to run as an independent candidate in Algeria's April 2014 presidential election.

“It's official. I am a candidate for the 2014 presidential election,” he told AFP by telephone.

Yasmina Khadra, whose real name is Mohammed Moulessehoul but who adopted a pen name to cover his identity as a new author, was born in 1955 in Algeria's Sahara desert region.

He is the winner of several international awards for his novels and currently heads the Algerian Cultural Centre in Paris.

Khadra insisted he would run as an independent, having to collect signatures, but did not expand on a program.

Under Algerian electoral laws, independent candidates must collect a total of at least 60,000 signatures, with a minimum of 1,500 from each of at least 25 prefectures across the country.

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has served three terms since 1999 but was hospitalized in France between April and July, has yet to declare whether he will stand for re-election.